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Importance and Effects of Water Baths, Sand Baths & Sun Baths

Abdul Bari, Tariq Shaikh, Farhan Akhtar, Mohd Naseem Khan, Mishahuddin Azhar

Some natural forms of treatment have proved more effective than any medicinal drugs. Among these natural aids are also water baths, sand baths and sun baths. Below are given the benefits of these in maintaining health.

In spite of the tremendous progress made by the modern medical system in its various fields, it has failed to solve all the problems of health with which human life is faced. In relation to regimental therapy water baths, sun baths and sand baths are the important methods to be adopted by old physicians since long time.

Water Bath

It should be known that the natural action of bath is to produce warmth by its air and moisture by its water. The first chamber of a bath has the cooling and moistening effect. The second has the heating and moistening effect. The third has the heating and desiccating effect, baths produce changes. Some of these changes are indirect and some direct. Thus, sometimes it so happens that the air of the baths has a cooling effect by excessive dispersion of the innate heat, and it also produces dryness in the organs because it excessively disperses the innate humours though it increases the foreign humours. When the water of baths is so hot that it produces horripilation and closes the pores then nothing from its moisture enters the body, nor does it isperse the humours fully.

Bath—water sometimes produces heat and sometimes cold. Its heating effect is due to its heat, provided it is sufficiently hot because the latter produces cold and moisture. Sometimes the bath-water, if it is cold, produces heat by closing the pores. Hot bath helps to digest the aliment and causes the maturation of the cold humour. Sometimes a bath is used dry. Hence it produces dryness and benefits persons suffering from dropsy and soft swelling. Sometimes a bath is used moist and it produces moisture. When a person stays longer in a bath, dryness results due to dispersion and sweating; and when the stay is short, moisture is produced because the body absorbs water before sweating. Sometimes baths are taken before breakfast and on an empty stomach. So they produce severe dryness and thus make the body thin and debilitated. Baths taken on full stomach fatten the person by attracting the nutriment towards the surface of the body. But in this case emboli are formed because owing to the bath, in matured nutriment is drawn towards the organs from the stomach and the liver. Sometimes bath is taken when the first digestion has ended, but the stomach is not fully empty. Such bath is beneficial and makes a person moderately fleshy.

Those who remain in bath for a long time have the risk of syncope, because the bath renders the heart hot and risk produces nausea. Though bath is useful in many ways, it is also harmful. It makes it easy for superfluous matter to flow towards organs that are weak. It makes the body lax; injures the nerves; disperses the innate heat; reduces appetite; and weakens the s*x**l power. Baths are classified according to the different types of water which may thus be nitrous or sulphurous sea water, alkaline or saline. Such baths may be natural, or artificially prepared by boiling something in water, like laurel seed, sulphur, etc. such baths have sipersing and attenuating effect and remove Oedema and soft swelling and prevent the flow of matter towards the ulcers, and are beneficial for those suffering from guinea worm.

Water containing copper, iron and salt are useful in cold and moist disease; in pains of joints, gout and paralysis, asthma and disease of kidneys; they also strengthen the coaptation of fractured bones and benefit furuncles and ulcers. Water containing copper is useful for stomatitis, uvula, opthalmia and otorrhoea. Iron is beneficial for stomach and sleep. Water containing salt is beneficial for head and chest disposed to received (superfluous) matter. It also benefits the moistness of the stomach and persons suffering from dropsy and distension.

Bathing with water containing alum and green vitriol is beneficial for haemoptysis, bleeding piles menorrhagia, prolapse ani, miscarriage without any cause, oedema and excessive sweating. Water containing sulphur purifies the nerves and relieves the pain, distension and convulsion and cleanses the skin of papules, bad chronic ulcers, lentigo, vitiligo and leukoderma. But it makes the stomach flabby and causes loss of appetite. Bathing with desert water makes the head heavy. So the bathers should not immerse their heads in such water. Desert water produces heat after sometime, especially in uterus, bladder and colon otherwise it is bad and heavy. Person desiring to take baths in thermal springs should bath calmy, quietly, gently and gradually and not all of sudden.

Sun Bath

Sun bath especially during excessive movement such as walking and running effectively disperses the superfluities. It is beneficial for asthma and orthopnoea, relieves chronic cold, headache and invigorates the brain which is of cold temperament and his seat is dry, it is beneficial for coxalgia, nephralgia, neuralgia, hysteria and for clearing the uterus.

Sand Bath

The sea-sand is the most effective of all sands in absorbing moisture from the skin. Sometimes the patient sits upon the hot sand; sometimes he buries himself in it and sometime it is sprinkled over the body little by little. The sand bath is beneficial for generalized oedema, dropsy, orthopnea, relieves chronic cough, headache, neuralgia, hysteria and also helpful in coxalgia.




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